The Pillars of Creation (Sword of Truth Series #7)

( 363 )

Overview

"Richard Rahl and his wife, Kahlan, have been reunited after their long separation, but with winter descending and the paralyzing dread of an army of annihilation occupying their homeland, they must venture deep into a strange and desolate land. Their quest turns to terror when they find themselves the helpless prey of a tireless hunter." "Exploited by those intent on domination, Jennsen finds herself drawn into the center of a violent struggle for conquest and revenge. Worse yet, she finds her will seized by dark forces more abhorrent than
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Overview

"Richard Rahl and his wife, Kahlan, have been reunited after their long separation, but with winter descending and the paralyzing dread of an army of annihilation occupying their homeland, they must venture deep into a strange and desolate land. Their quest turns to terror when they find themselves the helpless prey of a tireless hunter." "Exploited by those intent on domination, Jennsen finds herself drawn into the center of a violent struggle for conquest and revenge. Worse yet, she finds her will seized by dark forces more abhorrent than anything she ever envisioned. Only then does she come to realize that the voices were real." Staggered by loss and increasingly isolated, Richard and Kahlan desperately struggle to survive. But if they are to live, they must stop the relentless, unearthly threat that comes out of the darkest night of the human soul. To do so, Richard will be called upon to face the demons stalking among the Pillars of Creation.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Tormented her entire life by inhuman voices, a young woman seeks to end her intolerable agony, but silencing the voices unleashes torment on everyone else. In this Sword of Truth book, it falls to Richard and Kahlan to stop the unearthly threat that comes out of the darkest night of the human soul.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fantasy bestseller Goodkind brings his usual strong sense of place and distinct characterization to his seventh sprawling novel in the popular Sword of Truth series, though the action, too often discussed rather than shown, takes a while to warm up. The struggle continues between the New World's Seeker of Truth, Lord Richard Rahl, and the Old World's totalitarian leader, Emperor Jagang "the Just," against the dry and barren beauty of the desert landscape. After deposing his father, old Lord Rahl, Richard lingers in the background at his immense fortress. Meanwhile, battling for power are the bastards that old Rahl has also sired, notably Richard's oafish lout of a half-brother, Oba, who tries to murder his way to the throne. Taking center stage is the vengeful Jennsen, who wants to kill Richard because she blames him for her mother's murder. Of course, Richard isn't the villain she takes him for, though Jennsen is slow to catch on. Amid the interminable sword-and-sorcery in the tradition of Robert E. Howard (Howard would have especially appreciated the huge serpent with which Oba and Jennsen contend), the author spouts his familiar political pieties. Lip service may be paid to public good, but passion arises only in scenes of violence. For all its clumsy exposition, unlikely coincidences and feeble attempts at humor, this latest installment, with its striking jacket art showing a beautiful desert landscape, is as certain to please Goodkind's legions of fans as previous books in the series. (Dec.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
VOYA
Fans of the seven-volume Sword of Truth series, which is strenghtened with the addition of this title, will be thrilled to find the story of Richard Rahl, Lord Rahl of D'Hara, and his wife, Kahlan, the Mother Confessor, extended. Richard and Kahlan are bit players until the very end, as Richard's half sister, Jennsen, and his murderous half brother, Oba, must come to terms with their heritage and their destiny. Raised as fugitives by their mothers, Jennsen and Oba are ungifted children of Lord Darken Rahl. Conduits between the world of the living and the Keeper's world of the dead, they possess a lethal power and the capacity to undo all magic. Neither Jennsen nor Oba is aware of this potential, although both are troubled by internal voices. As Oba increasingly is lost to the murderous bidding of the Keeper's voice, Jennsen is led astray by a devious servant of Emperor Jagang the Just, drawing both out of D'Hara to a confrontation with Richard at the Pillars of Creation. Plot is definitely Goodkind's forte, and the story unfolds compellingly, with near-perfect pacing, well-realized settings, and superior descriptive narrative. Where this novel falls short is in characterization. Jennsen is easily the most aggravating heroine since Scarlett O'Hara and occasionally makes one long for Scarlett's grit. Always just a bit lost, Jennsen constantly leans on some Big Strong Man for help as she bumbles through situations with implausible luck, an unsympathetic and helpless pawn. Oba is completely sadistic, and Goodkind's enthusiastic descriptions of beatings and quasi vivisections contrast with his restraint in soft-focus sex scenes. None of this will matter, of course, to aficionados of theseries, who will be eager to read another installment in Richard Rahl's story. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P S A/YA (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2001, Tor, 512p,
— Ann Welton
KLIATT
Providing a different focus from his previous novels, Goodkind features Jennsen Daggett, the illegitimate daughter of Darken Rahl. In D'Hara, children born to Darken Rahl without "the gift" are sought out and murdered. Jennsen happens to be one of those children. As a result, throughout her childhood, Jennsen and her mother have moved from town to town in an effort to stay alive. When Jennsen discovers what she thinks to be a dead D'Haran soldier in the woods near her home, she knows that her father is getting too close. With the help of Sebastian (a spy of Emperor Jagang's intent on destroying the House of Rahl), Jennsen hides the soldier and quickly hurries home with Sebastian in tow. That night soldiers invade the Daggett household and Jennsen's mother is murdered. Sebastian saves Jennsen and they flee to find Althea, a sorceress Jennsen believes will protect her from Lord Rahl and provide her with knowledge of her puzzling family history. To learn the truth and to become safe, Jennsen must travel into the heart of danger to the People's Palace. Although both Sebastian and a Sister of the Dark persuade Jennsen to kill Richard Rahl, Jennsen soon realizes upon meeting Richard that he is not like his father. Former readers of the series will predict the happy ending. Without Richard and Kahlan in the forefront of this story, fans of those characters may be disappointed, but those who simply enjoy Goodkind's world will find this novel thoroughly entertaining. Goodkind can always be counted on to relate an adventurous and heroic tale. The characters spring to life and Oba as evil personified is creepily compelling. In the spirit of Robert Jordan and Robert E. Howard, this novel is highlyrecommended for those who enjoy epic fantasies though readers may want to start with the first book of the series, Wizard's First Rule, to fully appreciate Goodkind's work. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2001, Tor, 725p.,
— Ginger Armstrong
Library Journal
Goodkind takes a left turn in this seventh entry of his "Sword of Truth" series. He abandons his main characters for a time and concentrates on the life and adventures of a young woman named Jennsen, the illegitimate daughter of Darken Rahl. Jennsen hears voices (complete with Cecil B. Demille effects) and is pursued by dark forces seemingly because of her heritage. She flees her home after her mother is killed in search of a sorceress she thinks holds the keys to her destiny, only to discover more than she bargains for...such as a big swamp snake. Goodkind's D'Hara world is a glittering tapestry described in immediate and sometimes gruesome detail; it is interesting to hear how he has turned it upside down in The Pillars of Creation. The narration by Jim Bond is crisp, well done, and dramatic. Thankfully, Brilliance Audio seems to have abandoned its former whirlwind reading pace. Listeners will be enthralled and eager to sample more series entries. Though the price tag and length will deter some libraries, this is enthusiastically recommended for anyone who enjoys monumental fantasy. Barbara Perkins, Irving P.L., TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"A plot summary doesn't do justice . . . Goodkind is moving up." —Booklist
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765300263
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 11/20/2001
  • Series: Sword of Truth Series , #7
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 611,108
  • Product dimensions: 6.52 (w) x 9.41 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Goodkind

Terry Goodkind is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. His books include the eleven-volume Sword of Truth series, beginning with Wizard’s First Rule, the basis for the television show Legend of the Seeker. Goodkind was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, where he also attended art school. Alongside a career in wildlife art, he has also been a cabinetmaker and a violin maker, and he has done restoration work on rare and exotic artifacts from around the world — each with its own story to tell, he says. While continuing to maintain the northeastern home he built with his own hands, in recent years he and his wife Jeri have created a second home in the desert Southwest, where he now spends the majority of his time.

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Table of Contents

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Interviews & Essays

An Interview with Terry Goodkind

Q: You've said before that you enjoy creating new characters with great stories. Can you tell readers a little about Jennsen and how she becomes involved with the main characters, Richard Rahl, the woodsman-turned-warrior, and his wife Kahlan?

A: Ever since she was six years old, someone has been trying to kill Jennsen. Now, she is 20. He just found her.

These have always been stories of meaningful conflict, of people who have been torn from the familiar tapestry of their lives. More importantly, they're the stories of the struggles of heroic individuals trying to find truth and triumph over repression. How characters with nobility of human spirit, such as Richard and Kahlan, are tested, meet those challenges and face agonizing choices has always been my central theme.

The Pillars of Creation is the story of a young woman who must find a way to survive when her worst nightmare suddenly comes to life. Truth can be her only salvation. But with time running out, finding the truth is not going to be easy. The fate of many lives hinge on the choices she will make.

Q: What was the most challenging part of writing this book?

A: I wanted to write the story in a way that I don't think has been attempted before. The Pillars of Creation has a dual plot. By that, I mean that how the reader interprets the events in the story depends upon what they already know. Readers who have read my previous novels will see the plot unfold in a particular way, while new readers will see the events in an entirely different light. Both will see a logical progression of events but grasp their significance differently. I consciously intended the plot to be experienced from these two different perspectives in very different ways. Each group of readers will have very different sets of fears and hopes.

It was a real challenge to tell this story while keeping the plot for both kinds of readers equally compelling, and bringing both plot interpretations together in the end so that both readers -- old and new -- would find the ending equally logical and just as dramatic and satisfying. In this way, the story includes all readers.

Q: What do you think longtime Sword of Truth fans will find most surprising about this novel?

A: I seriously doubt that there will be very much about this novel that longtime fans won't find surprising. The mysteries involved are central to the novel.

It's important to point out that this is a book that requires no previous reading of the series. The reader's perception of the plot and interpretation of the meaning of each new discovery in the mystery is entirely dependent on whether or not they are familiar with the books in the series -- and that is by no means necessary. I wanted to make sure that fans of the series felt a special thrill with what they encounter, while new readers fell in love with a story that does not slight them for being new to my novels.

Q: I find it amazing that you've been able to release a new Sword of Truth novel -- all of which are well over 500 pages -- almost every year for the last seven years. How do you go about writing a book? Do you plan it all out first and then begin writing, or do you create a character and a rough story line and then let things unfold?

A: Just writing a book of 500 pages is not all that difficult. However, writing a novel that is a complete story in which every sentence contributes meaningfully to the advancement of the plot and the development of the characters, and which at the same time is philosophically integrated and consistent, is considerably more work. And that's what it is -- a lot of hard work. It's fascinating, fun and profoundly rewarding work, but it is work.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I'm extremely pleased to be able to announce that my publisher from the beginning, Tor Books, has contracted for the next three books in the series. Writing about these characters who have become so important not only to me, but to a great many other people, has been an immensely rewarding experience. Every time I finish a book, I can hardly wait to be writing the next one.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 363 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(127)

4 Star

(100)

3 Star

(58)

2 Star

(37)

1 Star

(41)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 363 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This book is the balance to Faith of the Fallen

    The problem with this book and why so many people are disappointed with it is because Faith of the Fallen was so amazingly good and truly epic that any other book that comes after is going to be held to that standard and ultimately going to fall short.

    This book is a neccessary evil in the series and truly is the balance to the last book. It really makes me wonder if he did it on purpose this way, I honestly wouldn't be surprised. Introducing a whole new set of characters after the last book was a gutsy move and after reading pillars It's easy to see that this story was neccessary to be told in order to build up the rest of the series.

    I admit that this one was a slow read for me because lets face it after faith ...yea...this was slow going, BUT im glad that I pushed through and read it because the ending was worth it although it took awhile to get there.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2011

    Kept me Interested!

    I was pleased the way Mr. Goodkind found new characters and new twists to keep the storyline fresh and interesting. The story within a story is well done and well written; although not very well edited. I have been very disappointed in the last 3 books with the misspelled words, bad punctuation and grammatical mistakes. It makes it quite difficult sometimes to follow the thought/s of the characters when words are not used to properly convey the the story. That being said - I would (and have) highly recommend this series!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2011

    Terry Goodkind Big Mistake

    Trust me i love terry goodkinds books but this is a huge mistake. i mean richard and kahlan only appear in the last couple of chapters. not only that but the main character in the book is an obnoxious girl that needs to be slapped around a little. seriously what was going through his mind!?!?!?!?!?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Love the Sword of Truth Series!

    I have really enjoyed reading this series. It has adventure, thrill, excitement, romance, political and moral lessons, drama ... a little of everything. The characters are developed extremely well and are multi-faceted. The storyline is original, exciting, and very interesting. Quotes and lessons from this series are very thought provoking and pertain to all times. The only con to the series is these books could have used more editing as they get somewhat wordy and repetitive - each book has many sections that explain what happened in previous books - again. I found myself skimming past those paragraphs and pages. Overall, they are very well written, and I find myself easily drawn into their world.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A worthy addition to the series

    Looking over prior user reviews, it strikes one that this book's naysayers have either: 1-generic, unsupported complaints of dullness or faulty logic, or 2-so much of a lack of imagination that they can't stand a book that doesn't solely focus on the series' two main protagonists.
    The truth is that this tale has everything that makes for a rousing fantasy adventure. An interesting spin on the typical hero's quest, constant looming danger and the threat of imminent death, a likable, sympathetic, yet real-enough-to-sometimes-get-on-your-nerves protagonist, and some truly foul villainy.
    Now I will grant that after spending so long focusing strictly on Richard and Kahlan, it could seem a bit awkward to so suddenly and drastically shift gears. One could argue that this book would have made more sense had it been placed earlier in the series, and not so far removed from the first introduction of one of Richard's siblings. On the other hand, I for one had been waiting in rapt anticipation to see if Mr. Goodkind would see fit to include more of Darken Rahl's unwanted offspring, and so approached this tale as something of a breath of fresh air.
    I mean seriously, if someone has enjoyed the series enough to continue reading it up to this point, clearly the most logical response is to have an utter lapse in reasoning and lose all faith in the author, refusing to believe that he might actually know what he's doing, right? (/sarcasm)
    Anyway, Pillars of Creation is fully capable of standing on it's own merit, introduces a fun new character into the series roster, and has left me simply itching to dig into book 8 as soon as possible.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome book, a lot of people were pissed cause Richard and Kahl

    Awesome book, a lot of people were pissed cause Richard and Kahlan wasn't in it but for the last couple of chapters but I was happy to have some new Characters to read about.

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  • Posted March 30, 2013

    Great Series, OK Book

    I love the entire Sword of Truth series, but this book, on it's own, is rather weak. I'm not sure why. Jen is a strong character, and the underlying story isn't all that bad. Part of it may be that taking a break from Richard and Kahlan's story is exactly the wrong decision to make. Another component is the way Jen's perspective turns things on end; we more or less *know* that she's being duped, but she's clueless -- which takes a fairly good character and weakens her drastically. For whatever reason, this is the one Sword of Truth book I don't find a brilliant, entrancing read in it's own right. It's OK, but it just feels like a speed bump while reading the *great* series itself.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Great book

    Great book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2012

    Another Hit...

    When you read the book you'll discover more than one reason for the ungifted of a Rahl to be hunted down and killed. Of course there exceptions?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2012

    I hated this book. I trudged through it thinking that with each

    I hated this book. I trudged through it thinking that with each new chapter, Richard and Kahlan would appear. About 1/3 into it, I finally scanned the pages to find where they are written in and they are only in the last few chapters! As a result, I just skimmed over the rest of the book. Why even bother to write a book in a series if it isn't written with the main characters in it?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2012

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    On the fence

    Im still not sure whether i enjoyed the book or not. Khalan and richard dont arrive until the end, which had me saying the entire time "where are they?". However i though it was also refreshing to meet new characters and follow their stories, to then end in the same journey from the other books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    Disappointing at first... deserves a second chance.

    The first time I read this book I was really disappointed with it. Mostly because you don' t see Ricahrd and Kahlan til the very end. It was hard to getvthrough the first time around, but after rereading this book I was able to get past the fact that this part of the story isn't about Richard and Kahlan and I appreciated this book and it's characters. All I have to say is let that disappointent go and enjoy the story for what it is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2012

    Pillars of creation

    Not as good as the previous book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Ready for more

    Different angle than the previous books and ended abruptly. Not Goodkind's best, but, overall, good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2011

    Absolutely Awful

    This book could easily be removed from the series without detracting from it. The new characters add nothing to the story. It comes off as what it was: a lame attempt to squeeze in one more book.

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  • Posted October 27, 2011

    A must read!!

    I love all of the Terry G books. It has been over 10 years since I last read the Sword of Truth books. Now while re-reading these books, I came to the Pillars book for the first time. I had read the previous reviews and had almost let the negative reviews sway me to skip this one. I am sooooo glad I follow my gut and read this one. This is a great read. It is quick and the characters keep you guessing. Yes, I do miss Kalin and Richard, but the new cast members keep you enguaged. Really makes me want to quickly read the remaining books.

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Goodkind's Triumphant Return to the Underworld. "Grushdeva", to the Holes in the World.

    "The Pillars of Creation" is Goodkind's triumphant return to the underworld. In the Seventh installment of The Sword of Truth, Goodkind takes readers back to Aydindril, "The Home of the Confessors",The Wizard's Keep, The People's Palace and back to the old world in the quest of Lord Rahl against the Imperial Order. And indeed he dares to write a book where the story does not belong to Richard and Kahlan, but to those "Who hear the voices" Evil has never faced Lord Rahl like this before. Goodkind doesn't fail in amazing fans, giving a different view of the sword of truth series. An amazing plot and great set of new characters for this latest installment. It seems as the series matures, more questions and details about magic have been answered. The author is very efficient in presenting details and background about the genesis of some of the themes witnessed in previous books. "The Pillars of Creations" is an intelligent and well written aftermath following "Faith of the Fallen" Fans needed a book like this. This seventh installment is very different, and Goodkind injects an evil that was necessary to refresh the entire series. "The Pillars of Creation" signifies what the Sword of Truth series is all about. The fight between good and evil. Jennsen Dagget and "King Oba" two ungifted offsprings of Darken Rahl, those who "Hear the voices" two distinct, but great characters. Goodkind shows his eloquent style to engage readers into the characters of Jennsen and Oba. Oba becomes my favorite one in this book, He is an evil, malicious, funny and definitely naive, while Jennsen's character unfolds into a young woman finding the truth and beliefs after her long journey of revenge against what she considered evil. Goodkind challenges readers to understand more about the underworld, and the magic surrounding Lord Rahl. Following "Faith of the Fallen" the author has concentrated in the Old World. The conflict between Lord Rahl and the Imperial Order is seen through the enemy's eyes. Not to mention the seventh rule taking a deeper meaning in the series. With four books left in the series, the engagement between all characters, prophecies, and everything that the author has not revealed yet becomes more intriguing than ever. The world of the sword of truth is very spellbinding and without books like this one it would be impossible for fans to keep waiting what may come next. The way goodkind explores the house of Rahl through Jennsen and Oba, and even Drefan in previous books is very important to understand more how magic and history shapes Richard Rahl. If you are a fan that has read all the books, Love the book for what Goodkind gives us, keep reading, for you will find a surprise.

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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    Garbage, I'm done with this series

    I hate this book, and I've been an avid reader of the series until now. This edition is complete crap, and Terry takes the story no where. The plot of the war is just dragging, because Terry has no idea what to do with it. Characters that we know (like mord-siths) act completely out ordinary, contrary to the last...6 novels. And you have to read about two new boring characters until your eyes bleed. Oh yeah, and there is an entire chapter devoted to Jensen getting kissed for the first time...BRILLIANT WRITING!

    I really enjoyed his other works, and planned to read all 12 novels, but this is so bad I am done. Terry, you stole a little bit of my soul.

    Save yourself the trouble and if you liked the series just end it at #6, or prepare to be angered.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2011

    loved the rest

    but hated this one. it shouldnt take an entire book to add a single person to the story.

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